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Steenos

Lack of vatsim controllers

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Seems over the years that Vatsim is a lot less popular than it was. I try and fly out of ATL a lot and I rarely see controllers online. I'd figure for as decently busy of an airspace as Atlanta they would be staffed. Just wondered if there's a better alternative. Not dissing, or calling out any controllers just wishing there was more online ATC available. Makes the experience better that's for sure.

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Seems over the years that Vatsim is a lot less popular than it was. I try and fly out of ATL a lot and I rarely see controllers online. I'd figure for as decently busy of an airspace as Atlanta they would be staffed. Just wondered if there's a better alternative. Not dissing, or calling out any controllers just wishing there was more online ATC available. Makes the experience better that's for sure.
Perhaps you're not flying at the right times. Furthermore, it's also somewhat cyclical. Over the summer, hours drop slightly with people going on vacations and the like. Beyond that, the members tend to move around a lot because of boredom with the location, or disagreements with staff or new members.
VATSIM wont grow any larger than it is without policy changes and thats a hard fact.
Agreed. There's a lot that absolutely needs to change, but they really like to just pretend nothing's wrong. Shameless plug:Come to DC - we're on a lot. Just don't call me DC Center, and you'll be fine.

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VATSIM wont grow any larger than it is without policy changes and thats a hard fact.
Could you elaborate on this for me please. And one point from me is having 2 serious online organizations (VATSIM/IVAO) competing against one another does not help, it just dilutes our small community even more.

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Guest dlrk
Agreed. There's a lot that absolutely needs to change, but they really like to just pretend nothing's wrong.
+1

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If they really wanted to do something positive, they would make it easier to become a controller. I realize they don't want people that are not there for the right reasons and messing stuff up, however it seems daunting to many people. I would bet that most very experienced virtual pilots, real student pilots, and people with real world time could be controllers. However, and this is from my understanding, it is very hard to be allowed to free control on the network. If it was easier, I would probably apply. Being a student pilot, I have a very real knowledge of air traffic control interactions as well as my virtual airline experience.

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Perhaps you're not flying at the right times. Furthermore, it's also somewhat cyclical. Over the summer, hours drop slightly with people going on vacations and the like. Beyond that, the members tend to move around a lot because of boredom with the location, or disagreements with staff or new members. Agreed. There's a lot that absolutely needs to change, but they really like to just pretend nothing's wrong. Shameless plug:Come to DC - we're on a lot. Just don't call me DC Center, and you'll be fine.
OMG. Bumping this isn't enough. They do indeed like to pretend nothing is wrong, and they are the least involved guys I've ever heard about. Just last night I wrote an email to the Board of Governors, asking them to roll their sleeves up and get to it, with a few constructive recommendations. I also asked for those who aren't interested in rolling up their sleeves and working to make things better to step down. Then I deleted my constructive email, because I realized that few would read it, and those who did probably wouldn't care anyway.There are a FEW ARRTC managers and a few senior controllers on VATSIM who really do want to make the network better. The following are just my experiences, and those of the small group with whom I fly (excellent sim pilots and good people).. BOSTON: Best of the best in my book. The controllers there are fantastic, on top of things, easy to work with, and don't tolerate pilots messing around. SAN FRANCISCO: Always fantastic, ALWAYS! NEW YORK: Usually pretty darned good, but I always go back to the night an approach controller was drunk or are drugs, slurring his words, given messed up instructions, telling jokes and laughing at himself, etc. The worse thing is that another controller (a friend?) was in on it with him. We could tell because the wasted controller kept pressing the wrong push to talk key, so we heard 1/2 of his other conversation. Really terrible. That said, the experience our group had during New York's unexpected flyin of over 100 aircraft yesterday was terrific. Each controller was on top of things, and despite the number of aircraft the there were very few holds. Real nice job by the controllers and pilots alike. Also, there is one Center controller out of New York who is a real world senior controller, and he's the best, most professional, and most pleasant controller I've ever had on VATSIM. ATLANTA: I can go either way on this ARRTC. Sometimes good, sometimes not. Maybe it's a full moon type of thing. ALBUQUERQUE: Very good, very proficent and very friendly. LA CENTER: They are often very busy due to a huge and busy airspace, so they are usually direct and to the point. Still very good controllers. MINNEANAPOLIS: Usually very good. CHICAGO: Usually pretty good. Watch one Center guy who only thinks in 2D. He'll spin an overtaking aircraft, not realizing that it's okay to be at (or change to ) another altitude. This occurs with aircraft transiting their airspace. WASHINGTON CENTER: Usually pretty good, but there is one guy there, who was usually an Approach Controller who was just horrible. However we had him as a Center Controller for the first leg of our New York fly, he was overloaded by traffic and still managed to do a really excellent job. DENVER: If I had t guess, I'd say that a few months ago they suffered from management and training vacuum. They seem to be battling their way back, but as for me I place them on the places to avoid list for flyins. They're okay for daily traffic. MEMPHIS: Was HORRIBLE until about a month ago, and the quality has really stepped up. (rate them just above average and they're getting better). GREAT BRITAIN: Always seems to have terrific ad very friendly controllers. Can be some very busy airspace. PRAGUE: Terrific. LISBON: Terrific Anyway, the above list is just my experience. Dave

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VATSIM wont grow any larger than it is without policy changes and thats a hard fact.
+1 - This insistence on some sort of "full-time" virtual controller is ludicrous. It isn't official policy per-sae but I think we all know that things can appear too hardcore at times. The typical online-two-three times a month guy seems to get no-where with the strenuous training etc. *cough* me back in the day. I've dabbled on YZF tower every once a while and never had any issues...even YEG_CTR doesn't have a prob with it...of course some neighbouring ARTCC hardcore head though will come online and stir s**** = no ATC and a bad taste in my mouth. No thank you ain't gonna bother with that. This isn't the correct forum for it in any respect but whatever I'll continue. Honestly, if they had some allowed the sort of FSS position similar to the real world for region (ie: Kamloops, Pacific, Arctic etc.) where an individual could provide advisory for multiple airfields (Peace River Radio anyone...hehe) without having to go through the controlling mumbo-jumbo that would improve VATSIM substantially. I find when I'm flying online a voice to talk to and hearing others is the primary aspect of the immersion. I'm gonna fly what I wanna fly 90% of the time anyways as traffic seems so low...well up in Canada at least. Not only that...but it's realistic...that's how things are...there isn't a tower or terminal fool everywhere. But then the VATSIM staff will cry about server usage with an individual with 300 nm+ ranges as FSS...well what the heck to you think YEG centre is anyways? Sigh...

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I don't know about the problems with other VATSIM contoller areas, but I can tell you that there would probably be a great deal more controllers in the Denver airspace if we had a different Air Traffic Manager. This hobby doesn't need an egotistical and biased against women individual in that position or any other position of authority. Just my opinion.

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I don't know about the problems with other VATSIM contoller areas, but I can tell you that there would probably be a great deal more controllers in the Denver airspace if we had a different Air Traffic Manager. This hobby doesn't need an egotistical and biased against women individual in that position or any other position of authority. Just my opinion.
Yeah, the ATM over at Denver seems to be a dbag .... sociopath type

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There is a new player in town called PilotEdge. Subscription service with guaranteed ATC manning. Coverage area is limited but the reason for the limited coverage is on the website.

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I used to fly online years ago when vatsim was in it's infancy, then the ego stuff started, and will never venture back whilst that culture remains. The big heads ruin it for the genuine ones.Funny how the ones that hold themselves in high regard at Vatsim, are the ones that could not organise a p___up in a brewery.

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Hi I have been assigned a CR about 10 days ago, the deadline in 4 days and since I have to go to work and sleep, so at my free time which is about 4:00pm GMT to 10:00pm GMT I couldn’t find any controller at KMKE or KORD or KMSP and I am seriously considering talking to my CP to shift this CR to KSEA or KLAX which looks more frequent on the map, so it is a problem of course, but if your intentions to just fly anywhere there are always an area that is active, it’s a petty that the beautiful hobby is slowly decaying, the answer for how to get the wheel running again is simple ----Money-----nothing should be free anymore or it will disappear as we know it and as we loved it.

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Flying in Europe only I always had good experience with Vatsim.Germany, Austria, UK and Scandinavia are always the most active and with several airports with APP, TWR, GND and sometimes DEL as well. All of them very professional people.Also in other countries anyway I always had very good experience (Italy, France, Spain, Holland, Poland, Czech Rep.).I agree a lack could have been in summer season due to holidays. As always during colder days online time will increase.

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And one point from me is having 2 serious online organizations (VATSIM/IVAO) competing against one another does not help, it just dilutes our small community even more.
Well, true, but having 2 networks gives us the opportunity to go to the other network if one goes mad ... And that's the case, I moved. I don't say that the grass is greener in IVAO, but I personnaly got more fun since I don't deal too much with egos problems there. Not less problems, just different ones. Regarding required skills to be virtual ATC, I don't think that the requirements are so different between VATSIM and IVAO: it's hard for many of us. In IVAO France, Tower Controller exam success is 40% as far as I remember, and that day you get 10 times the traffic you'll ever get on normal day controlling. That's stupid, BUT: hard exams may be the price to pay to have brilliant control. Just imagine, that everyone get the opportunity to control: every pilot will moan about poor skilled ATCs ...I remember one day in VATSIM, I was flying with poor visibility, a controller just sent me against a mountain ... The possiblity to choose between 2 networks is still a good thing. I don't know any perfect organisation.

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I used to VATSIM a lot, but there is NEVER controllers on, so what is the point? Then, I decided maybe everyone wanted to fly and not control, so I tried to become a controller. After reading pages and pages of, you must do this, then that, then go here and go there, I was like forget that! It was almost as if I was going to be working for them and not get payed lol. Sorry, this is called a simulator for a reason! The VATSIM staff takes things to far (as for policy) and require to much of people to get started or keep working. Another point was made of having IVAO which makes for more competiton in a VERY limited market. IVAO should merge with VATSIM and lighten up the load for people, give people a reason to want to log on. Honestly I rather use LiveATC.net running in the background to hear traffic and use Radar Contact 4 for my controlling, but for certain one thing is true; I rather have a full controlled ATC flight with RC4 then have one Center Controller talk to me for 2 seconds over his ARTCC. The VATSIM folks have taken things to far, there lack of leadership and beuracracy is mind blowing, yet every once in a while the go on FSBreak and make it sound like its an awesome exerpience with it is not...because of the lack of people using it.

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If they really wanted to do something positive, they would make it easier to become a controller. I realize they don't want people that are not there for the right reasons and messing stuff up, however it seems daunting to many people. I would bet that most very experienced virtual pilots, real student pilots, and people with real world time could be controllers. However, and this is from my understanding, it is very hard to be allowed to free control on the network. If it was easier, I would probably apply. Being a student pilot, I have a very real knowledge of air traffic control interactions as well as my virtual airline experience.
When you say easier exactly what do you mean. As a controller in the UK, I will admit that the learning is difficult, the process of progression has its problems but these are mostly a resources issue as all training controllers have a mentor. There is no way that someone can go on twr and just from reading be competant to control. mentors are there to help the student controller reach a satisfactory standard to control. There is nothing worse than receiving control form a controller who clearly does not know what they are doing. If as you say you are a student pilot in th ereal world thena l ittle learning will not be issue for you. That said I do know that the states did have a problem a few years back with certain ctrs insisting that controllers had real world experience before even seeing a radar scope, now that is just plain silly. Oddly enough most atc on VATSIM start off as pilots on the network and then come over to the darkside to see what its like. Thats what happened to me. Wycliffe

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Don't really have time to fly online anymore, but when I did, I only flew between "event" airports. There are events going on almost every day and you'll have loads of traffic and guaranteed atc coverage all the way. Good events have a slot booking system where you can select a flight and fly it real time. The best ones even provide you with a route and a briefing package. Couldn't be easier and more realistic. That being said, I found flying between any other airports, especially off hours to be pointless..

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It all depends on where you fly and how you plan your flights. When it is good nothing compares, I could never go back to offline flying or a computer voice giving me instructions. Most of Europe is covered every evening and the ATC is top notch over here, when I used to fly longhaul it would be from Europe to Boston and the service was great on every trip. Going back to Vatsim not linking up with IVAO, arrghhh it drives me crazy! I doubt they will ever meet in the middle. In the past 6 years or so I have only ever had 2 ATC problems so it does say a lot for the quality of service provided. First one was into Bogota Colombia in a 744F , Approach seemed to want to Vector me like I was in a hand glider causing me to go missed twice, not the kind of thing you want at night in rain, surrounded by huge mountains and low visibilty/fuel after a 14 hour long haul!I Second was a fuel stop in Halifax enroute to LA, on approach the controller insisted he knew how to fly the 744 better then me and kept shouting that I was going to stall, when I landed I had to explain that he was seeing my groundspeed not airspeed and the approach was well within limits..

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It all depends on where you fly and how you plan your flights. When it is good nothing compares, I could never go back to offline flying or a computer voice giving me instructions. Most of Europe is covered every evening and the ATC is top notch over here, when I used to fly longhaul it would be from Europe to Boston and the service was great on every trip. Going back to Vatsim not linking up with IVAO, arrghhh it drives me crazy! I doubt they will ever meet in the middle. In the past 6 years or so I have only ever had 2 ATC problems so it does say a lot for the quality of service provided. First one was into Bogota Colombia in a 744F , Approach seemed to want to Vector me like I was in a hand glider causing me to go missed twice, not the kind of thing you want at night in rain, surrounded by huge mountains and low visibilty/fuel after a 14 hour long haul!I Second was a fuel stop in Halifax enroute to LA, on approach the controller insisted he knew how to fly the 744 better then me and kept shouting that I was going to stall, when I landed I had to explain that he was seeing my groundspeed not airspeed and the approach was well within limits..
Its so funy LMAO.gif

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as a long standing member of VATSIM, it's had it's up's, it's had it's down's - now it's mainly down's. It's run by mostly a good group of people, but the few amateurs that are worming their way in to higher positions are completely destroying the network. They will never admit it, but that's amateurs for you! The policies don't help either, but the problem there is that the amateurs that set training around the policies don't quite know what they're doing, hence why you see less and less control (because people find it near impossible to "rank up"). I'm hoping one day they'll realise, get rid of the idiots, bring in people who actually know what they're talking about and start making VATSIM what it used to be - fun and professional.

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Hehe, Halifax is jinxed for me so I stay well clear now ;) the only time I have crashed online was due to stopping over one of those refueling ramps without knowing, my already Heavy aircraft had been refueled to the Max, I took of with derate thrust and reached 50ft with the stick shaker going crazy! I disconected from Vatsim pretty quick :)

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